Meet Suzy McGrane-Hop, “artistpreneur”
Back in the day, “artistpreneur” Suzy McGrane-Hop would pass by Klik’s Photography and think, “This is a great space in a great place.”
Around ten years ago, after 15 years of working at art galleries, she decided it was time to have one of her own. Soon afterwards, she opened The Gilded Pear Gallery in that same building, at first sharing a small space with Klik’s before eventually taking over the entire lower level.
What’s it like doing business in the MedQuarter Regional Medical District? Suzy states: “I was already here when the MedQuarter began, and it has only gotten better as a place for a small business — the walkability, pocket parks and green spaces, dining, shopping and easy parking.”
As one of over a dozen retailers and restaurants in the MedQ, Suzy enjoys the diversity of the clientele that visit the District. “People just stop in when they’re waiting for an appointment or for family or friends,” she added. Being a business within a medical district draws in an audience that might otherwise not be there.
And the gallery name? “Gilding is a framing term for gold leafing. Early in my art career I did some still life paintings of pears. I just put the two together,” Suzy recalled.
The Gilded Pear is a full-service gallery, offering work from 70 local and regional artists, custom framing, residential and commercial art consultation, appraisals, commissions, conservation and shipping.
“We have one of the larger gallery spaces in the area,” says Suzy. “For me, to spotlight the amazing talent of Iowa artists, to get their original work into people’s homes and businesses, that’s what’s so satisfying.”
Persevering through a Pandemic
“Artists are struggling right now,” continues Suzy. “In-person showings and exhibitions are down to virtually zero due to COVID-19 — that’s where artists typically connect with the buying crowd. We’ve made major improvements to our virtual outreach, providing new opportunities for customers to engage with artists and their work online.”
From virtual exhibitions and galleries to artist bios, descriptions of pieces and pricing, customers can shop online and simply call the gallery with their orders or questions.
“With more people staying home, we’re certainly placing more art in residences than before, but our corporate consultations and sales are still strong,” adds Suzy. The gallery is open but following strict mask-wearing and sanitation protocols. In-person consultations and appraisals are available by appointment.
Being a full-service gallery, the appraisal — Suzy is one of only a few (certified/licensed) art appraisers in Iowa — and custom framing components of the business are important.
“My husband, Scott, helps with framing and installations. Lauren is our gallery manager and Linda manages inventory and our digital footprint. We’re a small but highly-experienced team,” relates Suzy.
What about the future? “April 2021 is our tenth anniversary, and we’re opening the curtain on some exciting news,” concludes Suzy.
On behalf of artists and patrons throughout the region, let the unveiling begin!
Gilded Pear Gallery
808 THIRD AVE. SE CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA 52403
Gallery Hours (Sept-Dec):
Monday- Friday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Facebook: Gilded Pear Gallery